Algarve Money Matters

The euro is the currency of the Economic and Monetary Union and was adopted by 11 State-members from the European Union on the 1st of January 1999: Portugal, Belgium, Germany, Spain, France, Ireland, Italy, Luxemburg, the Netherlands, Austria and Finland. In 2001, Greece also adopted the euro.

The symbol of the euro currency is an "E" crossed by two parallel and diagonal lines. It is inspired on the representation of the Greek letter epsilon, calling up the birth of the European civilization and the first letter of the word Europe. The two parallel lines represent the internal stability of the euro.

The circulation of the euro started on the 1st of January 2002 with 7 different bank notes and 8 different coins: bank notes of 500, 200, 100, 50, 20, 10 and 5 euros, and coins of 2 and 1 euros and 50, 20, 10, 5, 2, and 1 centimes.
Although the coins have both a European common side and a specific national side, they are accepted in all the countries that joined the euro currency, and the same is applied to bank notes.

Both bank notes and coins were also conceived for people with visual disabilities. Therefore, the bank notes - besides having different sizes - count on elements that allow the identification of the different notes through touch.
The different configurations of the coins' circumference, together with the different sizes, allow blind and partially blind people to identify the several coins.